Requesting Books


Hey everyone! Today I decided that I would do a post on requesting books from either publishers or authors. 

As always you can choose between watching the video or reading the post.


Requesting books is a daunting task, there is no doubt about it. Sitting in front of your computer, typing up an email to request a book that you really want to read from either an author or a publisher can be pretty scary. I've been doing it for a while now and I still get heart palpitations.

The first thing that you need to do before you consider requesting books from authors or publishers is to prepare for rejection. It sucks to think that this is a possibility but it is a reality. There is no way around it. Sometimes you just don't meet the requirements that the author or publisher have set up for sending review/publicity copies and other times, the author/publisher have already given out all the review/publicity copies that they had available. 

You need to take the rejection at face value, which can be difficult sometimes. Authors/publishers don't actually enjoy telling people that they can't send them the requested books. They often wish that they could give everyone who requests books copies but unfortunately, they have budgets to stick to.

Once you have accepted rejection, it is time to look at the book's information. Make sure that you are  actually interested in reading the book and that you aren't just requesting the book because you can or because you've seen it around on bookstagram. Take a moment and read the synopsis and make sure it is something that you will actually read because the publisher/author is expecting you to read and review the book. 

Look who is the publisher. If it is an imprint, then double check who is the parent publisher. This is especially important if you live in a smaller country like South Africa. The parent publisher will often have access to their imprint's publications and you will contact them instead of the imprints whereas if you live in the USA, you will contact the imprint instead of the parent publisher.

Another thing to note is that publishers/authors won't always send physical copies. Make sure that if you have a smaller blog social media influence that you can accept e-books because it will only be beneficial. The kindle app is for free to download, and whilst reading on your phone or tablet is not only convenient it is helpful when you want to build a relationship with a publisher. If you read a couple of ebooks and the publishers know that you deliver on your promises, they will be more inclined to send you physical copies in the future. 

Next thing that you want to do is find the author's email address or a publisher's publicity details. This can often be found on their websites on the contact us tab. If this information isn't available, send a query or email another department as they will often redirect the email to the right place.

Make sure you have the book's details ready for the email. I would also recommend getting all of your social media links ready as publishers often request this to see how influential you are and whether or not it will be beneficial to send you a physical copy or just an ebook.

The next thing and perhaps the last thing is the email. It might be a super simple task but every now and again I like to look at my check list to make sure that I have everything ready and that I haven't forgotten anything. The following steps are what I like to follow when I am typing up an email. 

  1. Type in the email address.
  2. Double check that the email address has been typed in correctly.
    • I cannot tell you how many times I have forgotten to check the email address and it has bounced back because I have mistyped the address.
  3. Remember to put in the subject so that the person you are corresponding with knows what the email is all about (Re: Book Request tends to do work well).
  4. Start the email by being polite,
    • A good day followed by a hope that my email finds you well comes across well and it just makes you sound friendly.
  5. Introduce yourself and where you are from,
    • This can just be as simple as this: My name is Melleny and I come from South Africa. It just allows the person you are emailing to see if they need to forward your information to the international publicity department or if you are in the right place. It will also give them an idea of where they will be sending review copies.
  6. Tell them what book you would like to request (You can include the ISBN if you want but you don't really need it).
  7. This would be the perfect time to include your social media links just so that you won't have to do it at a later stage.
  8. Conclude the email by still being polite,
    • Wishing you all the best for the upcoming week/rest of the day/weekend is great.
  9. Sign off with your name or pseudonym 
    • If you are signing off with you blog name make sure that you are the only person who is posting to the blog. Otherwise use your name and blog if you are part of a group of people posting to a blog.
  10. Send the email and wait!
My best advice for this time is not to obsess over the email, it will be difficult because you will be wondering whether or not they will send a reply. Let it go.You have done your bit. Sit back, relax and read a book.

If you don't hear anything after about a week, then I would just resend the email. Just like how snail mail gets lost, emails can also get lost through all the streams of email that the publisher/author might receive.

I wish you all the best with your requests! I hope that you get approved for every single one!

Yours in Reading,

Melleny

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